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The Reason Why Grated Parmesan in the Green Can Isn't Refrigerated

Parmesan cheese is one of the most versatile cheeses and also the most delicious. Parmesan is typically sold in a solid block, shredded, or grated parmesan cheese. Each of these types has its place, depending on what you're cooking.

Sometimes a recipe calls for grated parmesan cheese, but you only have shredded on hand. You might wonder if it's ok to substitute, or even what the difference is between the types. We've got you covered, breaking down what grated parmesan and shredded parmesan are, and when to use each kind.

What is Parmesan Cheese?

grated parmesan cheese on table

The parmesan cheese that we know and love in America is known as Parmigiano Reggiano in Italian. For it to be considered true parmesan cheese, it has to be made from cow's milk from cows who eat fresh grass and hay.

Parmesan cheese is the cheese of choice in some of our favorite recipes. It's the perfect addition on top of lasagna or pizza, and to enhance the flavor of soups.

Grated Parmesan Cheese vs. Shredded Parmesan Cheese


Grated Parmesan

Kraft Parmesan Cheese brand

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Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese is one of the most popular and affordable brands at the grocery store. This green shaker bottle probably sat at your kitchen table as a kid whenever it was spaghetti night.

Grated cheese resembles powdered cheese because of its fine texture. A quick disclaimer— grated parmesan cheese can technically be made from either parmesan or romano cheese. So don't assume that you are getting real Italian parmesan unless it says so.

Kraft's 8 fl oz shaker cheese is made from pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, cellulose powder, and Potassium Sorbate to protect flavor. The nutritional information lists a serving size as two teaspoons. There is no trans fat and only 1.5g of total fat. The total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugars are all 0. Even though the cheese is made from milk, the daily value for Vitamin D is 0%. It does provide 4% of your daily calcium.

Why Is It Not Refrigerated?

It's all about the moisture! Canned Parmesan cheese, such as Kraft, is so low in moisture that food-borne bacteria have a very hard time growing on it. However, once you open the tin, you should refrigerate the container like you would fresh cheese.

Shredded Parmesan

grated cheese. Parmesan cheese

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Shredded parmesan cheese resembles thin strips of white cheese, like mozzarella cheese. If you buy shredded parmesan, it may contain cellulose, natamycin, and potato starch. This prevents the cheese from retaining moisture and caking. Shredded cheese can also be made from mozzarella, Edam, or cheddar cheese.

Belgioioso finely shredded cheese is one of the finest brands of shredded parmesan you can buy. It's often found in the deli section of the grocery store.

The only three ingredients are cultured milk, salt, and enzymes. Since there are no preservatives, you must refrigerate this after use. This also means it has a shorter shelf life than grated cheese. They suggest it is used within 3-5 days after opening. The nutrition facts are pretty comparable to grated parmesan, with the main difference being the serving size. One serving of shredded parmesan is 1 tablespoon.

READ: Don't Have Parmesan Cheese? Use These 6 Substitutes